A Serpent chang'd to Stone. Rough barks infold |
The cruell Bacchanals. To staruing Gold
All turnes at Midas touch: He's bodie laues
In cleare Pactolus, whose inriched waues
Wash off his gold and gilt: an Asses eares
His folly shame: the whispred Secret beares
Like sounding-Reeds. Apollo, and the Guide
Of sacred Seas, in humane shapes reside.
Forc't Thetis varies formes. Daedalion
T' a Falcon turn'd. A Wolfe congeal'd to Stone.
Morpheus to mortals, Phobetor to Brutes,
And Phantasus to shapes inanimate sutes.
Transform'd Halcyone and Ceyx flye.
So Aesacus, who vainely striues to dye.
Thus while the Thracian Poet1 with his songs
Beasts, Trees, and Stones, attracts in following throngs:
Behold, Ciconian2 dames (their furious brests
Clad with the spotted skinnes of saluage beasts)
The sacred Singer from a hill espy'd,
As he his dittie to his harp apply'd.
Of these, One cry'd, and tost her flaring haire;
Lo he who hates our sex! then threw her speare
At his melodious mouth; which iuie-bound,3
Kist his affected lips without a wound.
An Other hurles a stone; this, as it flew,
His voice and harps according tunes subdue:
Which selfe-accus'd for such a rude assay,
Before his feet, as in submission lay:
Rash violence, the meane exil'd, increast:
And mad Erinnys4 raign'd in euery brest.
His songs had all their weapons charm'd, if noyse
Of Berecynthian5 shalmes, clapt hands, loud cryes,
Drummes, howling Bacchanals, with frantick sound
Had not his all-appeasing musique drown'd.
The stones then blush with silenst Orpheus blood.
But first on rauisht beasts that listning stood,
On Fowle, and Serpents, they their spight inferre;
And raze the glory of his Theater.6
Then all with cruell hands about him fly:
And flock like birds, when they by day espy
The bird of Night.7 And as a Stag at bay,
In th' Amphitheater8 now made a prey
To eager hounds; so they together flung
Their leauy speares, not fram'd for such a wrong;
Some clods, some armes of trees, some stones let fly,
And least wilde Rage should weapons want, hard by
By chance slow Oxen drew the furrowing plowghes;
And swaines, prouiding food with sweating browes,
Dig'd with their brawny armes: who feare-inclind,
Before them fled, and left their tooles behind.
Their mattocks, rakes, and spades dispersed lay
About the empty fields: these snatcht away,
(The ploughs from threatning Oxen torne) their hate
Hurries them back vnto the Poets fate.
Him, holding vp his hands, who then in vaine
First spent his breath, nor pitty could obtaine,
That Rout of sacrilegious Furies slew!
Euen through that mouth (ô Iupiter!) which drew
From stones attention, which affection bred
In saluage beasts, his forced spirits fled!
Sad birds, wilde Heards, hard flints, and woods, of late
Led by thy verse, then wept: at thy sad fate
Trees shed their leaues;9 streames with their teares increast:
The Naiades10 and Dryades10 inuest
Themselues in sullen sable, and display
Their scattered haire. Thy limbs dispersed lay.
His head and harp they into Hebrus11 flung,
The harp sounds something, sadly; the dead tongue
Sighs out sad ditties: the bankes sympathize
(That bound the riuer) in their sad replies.
Now them to Sea their natiue current bore;
Both cast vpon Methymnian Lesbos12 shore.
A Dragon on the forraine sand prepares
To seaze his head, and lick his dropping haires.
When gaping to deuoure the Hymnists13 face,
Phoebus descends; and in that very space
Into a stone converts him by his powre,
With iawes extended ready to deuoure.
His Ghost retires to vnder shades: once more
He sees, and knowes, what he had seene before.14
Then through the Elysian15 fields among the blest
Seekes his Eurydice. Now repossest
With strict imbraces, guided by one minde,
They walke together: oft he comes behinde,
Oft goes before: now Orpheus safely may
His following Eurydice suruay.
Yet Bacchus renders vengeance for their hate:
Who vexed at his Prophets cruell fate,16
Fixt all th' Edonian17 Dames that then were by
With spreading roots; and who more eagerly
Pursu'd his death, their toes he deeper drew
Within the solid earth, which downe-ward grew.
And euen as fowle whose feet intangled are
Within the subtile foulers secret snare
Become by fearefull fluttering faster bound:
So, each of these, now cleauing to the ground,
With terror struggle to escape in vaine;
For faster-binding roots their flight restraine.
One, looking for her nailes, her toes, her feet:
Behold, her twinning legs in timber meet:
In passion, thinking to haue struck her thighes,
She strikes hard oke; hard oke her brests supplies;
Her shoulders such: her armes appeare to grow
In naturall branches; and indeed did so.
Nor thus content, their fields Lyaeus18 leaues:
Whom Tmolus,19 with a better troope receiues,
And swift Pactolus,20 who did then infold
No precious sands, nor graines of enui'd gold.
Satyres and Bacchanals to him repaire,
His vsuall traine: Silenus21 then not there.
Him erst the Phrygian Rurals reeling found
With age and wine; and now, with iuie crown'd,
To Midas bring: whom Orpheus Orgies22 taught,
And sage Eumolpus23 from Cecropia24 brought.
When knowne to be his partner in those Rites;
Full twice fiue daies, with their succeeding nights,
He entertain'd him with a sumptuous feast.
Eleuen times Lucifer25 the starres supprest:
When, with wild mirth, he treads the Lydian fields;
And to the God his Foster-father yeelds.
He in his safe returne doth much reioyce:
Whose bountie Midas frustrates by his choice.
For, wil'd to wish; Let all, said he, I touch
Conuert to gold. His ignorance was such.
Forth-with to him his wish Lyaeus26 giues:
And at his folly not a little grieues
But in his curse the Berecynthian27 ioyes:
And home-ward bound, the truth by touching tries.
Scarce trusting his owne sense, a tree bereaues
Of slender boughs; they shone with golden leaues.
Takes vp a stone; that stone pale gold became:
Takes vp a clod; the clod presents the same:
Crops stalkes of corne; these yeeld a sheafe of gold:
An apple pulls; there in you might behold
Th' Hesperian purchase:28 toucht by him alone,
The marble pillars with rich mettall shone.
And when he washt; that water, showr'd in raine,
Might simple Danaë haue deceiu'd againe.29
His brest scarce holds his hopes; whose fancie wrought
On golden wonders: when his seruants brought
Meat to the table. Sooner had not he
Toucht Ceres bounty,30 but that prou'd to be
A shining masse: the carued viands straight
Betweene his greedy teeth convert to plate.
About to drinke mixt wine;31 you might behold
His thirstie iawes o're-flow with liquid gold.
Struck with so strange a plague; (both rich and poore;)
He hates and shuns the wealth he wisht before.
His plentie feeds him not; he burnes with thirst:
By loathed gold deseruedly accurst.
Then, lifting vp his shining armes, thus praid:
Father Lenaeus,32 ô, afford thy aid!
I haue offended; pitty thou: and me
From this so glorious a mischiefe free.
The gentle powre the penitent restor'd:
And for his faith,33 affords what he implor'd.
Least ill-wisht gold about him still abide;
Goe, said he, to those Cristall streames34 that glide
By potent Sardis:35 keepe the bankes that lead
Along th' incountring Current to his head.
There, where the gushing fountaine fomes, diue in:
And, with thy bodie, wash away thy sinne.
The King obayes: who in the fountaine leaues
That golden vertue, which the Spring receaues.
And still those ancient seeds these waters hold:
Who gild their shores with glittering graines of gold.
He, hating wealth, in woods and fields bestowes
His time with Pan;36 whom mountaine Caues inclose.
Yet his grosse wit remaines: his shallow braine
And sottish senses punish him againe.
High Tmolus with a steepe ascent displayes
His rigid browes, and vnder-seas suruaies:
Whose stretcht-out bases here to Sardis ioyne;
There to Hyaepis,37 girt in small confine.
Where boasting Pan, while he his verse doth praise
To tender Nymphs, and pipes to rurall layes;
Before Apollo's durst his songs preferre.
They meet (ill-matcht) great Tmolus arbiter.38
Th' old iudge on his owne Mountaine sits; and cleares
His eares from trees: alone a garland weares
Of Oke, with akornes dangling on his brow.
Who thus bespake the God of Shepheards:39 Now
Your iudge attends. He blowes his wax-bound reeds:
And Midas fancie with rude numbers feeds.
Then sacred Tmolus to diuine Apollo
Conuerts his lookes: his woods his motion follow.
He,40 his long yellow haire with laurell bound,
Clad in a Tyrian robe that swept the ground,
A Violl holds, with sparkling gemmes inchac't
And Indian teeth;41 the bow his right hand grac't.
A perfect Artist shew'd. Then sweetly plaid
When Tmolus, rauisht with his musick, said,
Pan to the Violl yeeld thy ruder reed.
All like of what the Mountaine had decreed,
But Midas onely; whose exclaimes traduce
The Censure. Phoebus for this grosse abuse
Transformes his eares, his folly to declare:
Stretcht out in length, and couer'd with gray haire:
Instable, and now apt to moue. The rest
The former figure of a man possest.
Punisht in that offending part: who beares
Vpon his skull a slow-pac't Asses eares.
He striues to couer such a foule defame:
And with a red Tiara42 hides his shame.
But this his seruant saw that cut his haire:
Who bigge with secrets, neither durst declare
His Soueraignes seene deformity, nor yet
Could hold his peace. Who digs a shallow pit,
And therein softly whispers his disgrace:
Then turning in the earth, forsooke the place.
A tuft of whispering Reeds from thence there growes;
Which comming to maturitie, disclose
The husbandman: and by soft South-winds blowne
Repeat his words, and his Lords eares make knowne.
Reueng'd Apollo, leauing Tmolus, flies
Through liquid ayre; and on the land43 which lies
On that side Helles44 straightned surges stands:
Where far-obayd Laomedon commands.
Betweene Rhoetaeum44 and Sygaeum45 stood
An ancient Altar, high aboue the flood,
Vowd to the Panomphaean46 Thunderer:
From whence he saw the King begin to reare
New Troy's scarce founded walls; with what adoe,
And with how great a charge they slowly grew.
Who, with the Father of the swelling Maine,47
Indues a mortall shape: both entertaine
Themselues for vnregarded gold to build
The Phrygian Tyrants48 walls. That worke fulfild;
The King their promised reward denies:
And falsehood by forswearing multiplies.
Reuengefull Neptune his wild waues vnbound;
Which all the shores of greedy Ilium drown'd,
And made the Land a Lake: the country Swaine
His labour lost beneath that liquid Plaine.
Besides the daughter49 of the King demaunds:
Who chained to a Rock exposed stands
To feed a Monster of the Sea; set free,
By strenuous Hercules. Yet could not He
The horses of Laomedon enioy;
His valours hire: who sacks twice periur'd Troy;
And giues his fellow Souldier Telamon50
Hesione: for Peleus now had won
A Deity;5l nor in his Grandfather52
Tooke greater pride, then in his Sire53 by her.
For Iupiter had nephewes more then one:
But he a Goddesse had espous'd alone.
For aged Proteus thus fore-told the truth
To waue-wet Thetis: Thou shalt beare a Youth,
Greater then him from whom he tooke his birth
In armes and fame. Least any thing on earth
Should be more great then Ioue, Ioue shunnes the bed
Of Sea-thron'd Thetis, though her beauty led
His strong desires: who bids Aeacides54
Succeed his loue, and wed the Queene of Seas.
A Bay with in Aemonia55 lies, that bends
Much like an arch, and far-stretcht armes extends:
Which were, if deepe, a harbour lockt by land;
Where shallow seas o're-spread the yellow sand.
The sollid shore (whereon no sea-weed growes)
Nor clogs the way, nor print of footing showes.
Hard by, a mirtle-groue affords a shade:
In this, a caue; rather though doubtfull, made
By art then nature: hither Thetis swimmes
On Delphins back, here layd her naked limbs.
In this the sleeping Goddesse Peleus caught:
Who, when she could not by his words be wrought,
Attempts to force, and claspt her in his armes.
And had she not assum'd her vsuall charmes
In varying shapes, he had his will obtain'd.
Now, turnes t' a fowle, yet he her flight restrain'd:
Now seemes a massie tree adorn'd with leaues;
Close to the bole th' inamor'd Peleus cleaues.
A spotted Tygresse she presents at last:
When he, with terror struck, his armes vnclaspt.
Who powring wine on seas, those Gods implores;
And with perfumes and sacrifice adores:
Till the Carpathian Prophet56 rais'd his head,
And said; Aeacides,57 inioy her bed.
Doe thou but bind her in her next surprise,
When in her cold moist caue she sleeping lyes:
And though she take a thousand shapes, let none
Dismay; but hold, till she resume her owne.
This Proteus said, and diu'd to the Profound:
His latter word in his owne waters drownd.
Now hasty Titan58 to Hesperian seas
Descends; when beautious Thetis, bent to ease
Forsooke the flood, and to her Caue repair'd.
No sooner she by Peleus was insnar'd,
But forth-with varies formes; vntill she found
Her virgin limbs within his fetters bound.
Then, spreading forth her armes, She sighing said,
Thou hast subdu'd by some immortall aid:
Appeares her selfe; nor his imbrace repeld;
Whose pregnant wombe with great Achilles swel'd.
Happy was Peleus in his sonne and wife:
And had not Phocus59 murder soil'd his life,
All-fortunate. With brothers blood defil'd,
Thee Trachis60 harbours, from thy home exil'd.
Where courteous Ceyx, free from rigor, raign'd;
The sonne of Lucifer;61 whose lookes retain'd
His fathers luster: then disconsolate,
Nor like himselfe, for his lost brothers62 fate.
Hither, with trauell tyr'd, and clog'd with cares,
The banisht with a slender traine repaires:
His Flocks and Heards, with men for their defence,
Left in a shadie vale not farre from thence.
Conducted to his royall presence, Hee
With Oliue brancht,63 downe bending to his knee,
His name and birth declares: the murder masks
With forged cause of flight: a dwelling askes
In field, or citty. Ceyx thus replies:
Our hospitable bounty open lies
To men of vulgar ranke: what owes it then
To your high spirit, so renoun'd by men?
Of monumentall praise? Whose blood extracts
His sourse from Ioue, improued by your Acts?
To sue, is times abuse: your worth assures
Your full desires; of all, the choice is yours:
I wish it better. And then wept. The cause
Ioues Nephew64 askes: when, after a short pause;
Perhaps you thinke this Bird which liues by rape
To all a terror, euer had that shape.
He was a man; as constant in his minde
As fierce in warre, to great attempts inclin'd.
Daedalion nam'd; sprung from that Star which wakes
The deawie Morne; that last that heauen forsakes.65
Affected peace I fostered, with the rites
Of nuptiall ioyes: He ioy'd in bloody fights.
His valour Kingdomes with their Kings subdu'd;
By whom the Thisbian66 doues are now pursu'd.
His daughter Chione, whose beautie drew
A thousand sutors, ripe for marriage grew.
By fortune Phoebus, and the sonne of Mai',67
From Delphos, and Cyllene, came this way:
Here meeting, looke, and like. The God of Light
Deferres his ioy-imbracing hopes till night.
Hermes ill-brookes delay: who on her laid
His drowsie rod,68 and forc't the sleepie Maid.
Night spangs the skie with starres. An old wiues shape
Apollo tooke, and seconds Hermes rape.
Now when the fulnesse of her time drew nye,
Autolichus was borne to Mercury.
Nor from the Sire the Sonne degenerates,
Cunning in theft, and wily in all sleights:
Who could with subtiltie deceaue the sight;
Conuerting white to black, and black to white.
To Phoebus (for she bare two sonnes) belongs
Philammon, famous for his harpe and songs.
What is't t' haue had two sonnes? two Gods69 t' inflame?
A valiant father?70 Iupiter71 the same?
Is glory fatall? sure t' was so to Her:
Who to Dianas durst her face confer,
And blame her beautie. With a cruell looke,
She said; Our deeds shall right vs. Forthwith tooke
Her bow, and bent it; which she strongly drew;
And through her guilty tongue the arrow flew.
It bleeds; of speech and sound at once bereft:
And life, with blood, her falling body left.
What griefe (ô Pietie!) opprest my heart!
What said I not, t' asswage my brothers smart!
Who heares me so as rocks the roaring waues
That beat their browes; and for his Daughter raues.
But when he saw her burne,72 foure times assail'd
To sack the flamie Pile: as often fail'd.
Then turnes his heeles to flight (much like a Bull
By Hornets stung) whom scratching brambles pull:
Yet seem'd to run far faster then a man,
As if his feet had wings; and all out-ran.
Who swift in chace of wished death, ascends
Parnassus top. As he his bodie bends
To iump from downe-right cliffes, compassionate
Apollo, with light wings, preuents his fate:
With beake and tallons arm'd; with strength repleat
Aboue his size: his courage still as great.
This Falcon, friend to none, all fowle pursu'th:
And grieuing, is the cause of common ruth.
As Ceyx thus his brothers change relates:
Phocean73 Anetor rusheth through the gates;
(Who kept the Heard) and cry'd (halfe out of breath)
Peleus, I bring thee newes of losse and death.
Report, said Peleus, we are bent to beare
The worst of fortunes. While the King with feare
Hangs on his tongue. He panting, still afeard:
To winding shores we draue the wearie Heard,
When Phoebus from the heighth of all the sky
The East and West beheld with equall eye.
A part on yellow sands their limbs display,
And from their Rest the wauie fields suruay:
While other slowly wander here and there:
Some swim in seas, and lofty fore-heads reare.
A Fane, vndeckt with gold, or Parean stone,74
Of blocks adioynes; within a groue o're-growne.
This the Nereïes75 and Nereus hold:
By sea-men, who there dry'd their nets, so told.
Neere it, a Marish, thick with sallowes, stood;
Made plashie by the interchanging flood.
A Wolfe, a monstrous beast; with hideous noyse
That frights the confines, from those thickets flies.
His lightning jawes with blood and foame besmear'd:
In whose red eyes two darting flames appear'd.
Though fell with rage and famine; yet his rage
More greedie far: nor hunger seekes t' asswage
With blood of beeues, and so surcease; but all
He meets with, wounds; insulting in their fall.
Nor few of vs, while we his force-withstood,
Fell by his cruell phangs. The shore with blood;
With blood the sea-brimme blusht, and bellowing lakes.
Delay is losse; who doubts, himselfe forsakes.
Arme, arme, while something yet is left to lose:
And ioyning force, this mortall plague oppose.
The Heardsman ends. Nor did this losse incense
Aeacides;76 remembring his offence:
Borne, as the iustice of sad Psamathe77
To celebrate her Phocus Obsequie.
The King commands his men to arme: prouides
To goe in person. Busie rumor guides
This to Alcyone: her passion bare
Her swiftly thither; running with her haire
Halfe vncompos'd: and, that disordering, clung
About his neck: then weepes; and with a tongue
That scarce could speake, intreats, that they alone
Might goe; nor hazard both their liues in one.
To whom Aeacides;78 Faire Queene forbeare
(Too much your bounty flowes) your vertuous feare.
No force auailes in such extreames as these:
'Tis prayer that must the sea-thron'd Powre79 appease.
A loftie towre within a fortresse stood;
A friend80 to wandering ships that plough the flood.
They this ascend; and sighing, see the shore
With cattell strew'd; the Spoyler drencht in gore.
Here Peleus fixt on seas, with knees that bend,
Blew Psamathe implores at length to end
The iustice of her wrath. Shee from his speech
Diuerts her eares: till Thetis81 did beseech,
And got her husbands pardon: nor yet could
The saluage Wolfe from thirst of blood with-hold;
Till she the beast, as he a heifar slew,
Transform'd to marble; differing but in hew:
All else intire. The colour of the stone82
Shewes him no Wolfe: now terrible to none.
Yet Fate would not permit Aeacides83
To harbour here; nor found in exile ease;
Till at Magnesia,84 in a happy time
Acastus purg'd him from his bloody crime.
Meane-while perplext with former prodigies
Both of his neece and brother;85 to aduize
With sacred Oracles, the ioyes of men,
Ceyx prepares for Claros.86 Phorbas then,
With his Phlegyan hoast, alike prophane,
The passage stopt to Delphian Phoebus Fane.87
Yet first to thee his secret purpose told,
Faith-crown'd Alcyone. An inward cold
Shot through her bones: her changing face appeares
As pale as box, bedewed with her teares.
Thrice stroue to speak, thrice weeps through deare constraint:
Sobs interrupting her diuine complaint.
What fault of mine, my Life, hath chang'd thy minde?
Where is that loue that late so clearely shin'd?
Canst thou thy selfe enioy, from me remou'd?
Doe long waies please? is now my absence lou'd?
Yet didst thou goe by land, I should alone
Grieue without feare: now both combine in one.
Seas fright me with their tragicall aspect.
Of late I saw them on the shore eiect
Their scattered wracks: and often haue I read
Sad names on sepulchers that want their dead.88
Nor let false hopes thy confidencie please;
In that my father, great Hippotades,89
The strugling windes in rockie cauernes keepes.
And at his pleasure calmes the raging Deepes.
They once broke loose submit to no command;
But rage through all the Sea, on all the land;
Perplex the clouds, with sterne encounters rore,
And strike forth flames: I feare, by knowledge, more.
These knew I, and oft saw their rude comport;
While yet a Girle, within my fathers Court.
But if my prayers no fauour can procure;
And that, alas, thy going be too sure;
Take me along: let both one fortune beare;
Then shall I onely what I suffer feare.
Together saile we on the toyling Maine:
And equally what'euer hap sustaine.
Thus spake Alcyone: whose sorrowes melt
Her star-like90 spouse; nor he lesse passion felt.
Yet neither would his first intent forsake
Nor her a Partner in his danger make.
Much said he to asswage her troubled brest:
As much in vaine. This addes vnto the rest,
(Which answer only could her passion tame)
All stay is irkesome; by my fathers91 Flame,
I sweare, if Fate permit, returne I will
E're twice the Moone her shining Crescents fill.
Reuiu'd with promise of so short a stay;
He bids them lanch the ship without delay,
And fit her tacklings. This renewes her feares;
Presaging ill successe: abortiue teares
Flow from their springs; then kist: a sad farewell,
Long first, at length she takes; and swowning, fell.
The Sea-men call aboard: in double ranks
Reduce their oares, vp-rising from their Banks
With equall strokes. She reares her humid eyes,
And first her husband on the Poope espies
Shaking his hand: that, answers. Now from shore
The vessell driues, and thence her obiect bore.
Her following eyes the flying ship pursue:
That lost, the sailes her eager gazes drew.
When all had left her, to her chamber goes;
And on the emptie bed her body throwes:
The bed and place, with teares, to minde recall
That absent part, which gaue esteeme to all.
Now farre from Port; the windes began to blow
On quiuering Shrowds; their oares the Sailers stow:
Then hoise their Yards a trip, and all their sailes
At once let fall to catch th' approching gales.
The ship scarce halfe her course, or sure no more,
By this had runne; farre off from either shore:
When, deepe in night, fierce Eurus92 stifly blew,
And high-wrought Seas with chafing foamie grew.
Strike, strike the Top-saile, let the Maine-sheat fly,
And furle your sailes, the Master cri'd; his cry
The blustring winds and roring seas suppresse.
Yet of their owne accord in this distresse
They plie their tasks: some feeling yards bestride
And take-in sailes; some stop on either side
The yawning leakes; some seas on seas eiect.
While thus Disorder toyles to small effect,
The bitter Storme augments; the wild Windes wage
Warre from all parts, and ioyne with Neptunes rage.
The Master, lost in terror, neither knew
The state of things, what to command, or doe;
Confessing ignorance; so huge a masse
Of ills oppresse! which slighted Art surpasse.
Lowd cryes of men resound; with ratling shrowds,
Floods iustling floods, and thunder-crashing clouds.
Now tossing Seas appeare to touch the sky,
And wrap their curles in clouds, frotht with their spry:
The sand now from the bottome laue, and take
Their swarter dye; now black, as Stygian lake;93
Sometimes deprest, with hissing foame all white.
The Trachin94 ship such horrid changes fright.
Which now, as from a mountaine rockt with flawes,
Viewes vnder-uales, and Acherons95 darke jawes:
Now head-long with the tumbling billowes fell;
And heauen suruayes from that low depth of Hell.
Her waue-beat sides a hideous noyse report:
As when a battering Ram96 beats downe a Fort.
As chafed Lyons, whom no terrors fright,
Rush on extended steele with horrid might:
So Seas inuade with storme-imbatled powre
The ships defence; and o're her hatches towre.
Her yeelding planks now spring: sterne Neptune raues,
Charging her breaches with his deadly waues.
The prodigall clouds in showres their substance spend:
Ambitious seas to gloomie heauen ascend;
All heauen descending to the loftie Maine:
At least so seeme. Sailes suck the falling raine;
Showres ioyne with floods. No friendly star now shone:
Blind Night in darknesse, tempests, and her owne
Dread terrors lost: these horrid lightning turnes
To light more fear'd; the Sea with lightning burnes.
Now vaulting floods her vpper deck opprest.
And as a Souldier, brauer then the rest,
Tempting to scale the walls with lost assaies,
At length inioyes his hopes; and spurd with praise,
Among a thousand only stands the shock:
So while assailing waues the vessell rock,
The tenth97 bold Billow rusheth in, nor shrinks
Vntill the ship beneath his furie sinks.
Those seas, without, the labouring Bark assaile:
These sack her Hold. All tremble, and looke pale;
As at a siege, when foes inforce a wall;
While some within to execution fall.
Art failes, hearts sinck: on euery rising waue
Death sits in triumph, and presents a graue.
He weepes; He stands amaz'd; He calls them blest
Whom funerals grace: He vowes to heauen addrest,
Looking at what he sees not, and besought
The Gods in vaine: He on his parents thought,
His children, house, and what he left behinde.
Alcyone possest all Ceyx minde;
Her onely names: now in her absence ioy'd
Whose presence was his heauen: and had imploy'd
His eyes last duty to descrie the way
To her abode; but knew not where it lay.
The giddie seas so whirle, such pitchie clouds
Obscure the skie: Night, two-fold darknesse shrouds.
Lowd howling whirle-winds ouer-boor'd now bore
The shiuered mast; and now the rudder tore.
A Billow with these spoyles incourag'd, raues;
Who Victor-like contemnes the vnder waues:
Nor lighter falls, then if some God had torne
Pindus and Athos98 from their roots, vp-borne
As high as heauen, and tumbled on the Maine.
Nor could the ship such force and waight sustaine;
But to the bottome sinks. Most of her men
The seas infold; who neuer seene againe
Accomplished their fates: while other swim
On scattered plankes; a planke vpholding Him
Who late a scepter held. His father in law,99
And father,100 now inuokes: but could not draw
(Alas!) from either succour. Still his wife
Runnes in his thoughts in that short span of life.
He wisht the waues would cast him on the sands
Of Trachis, to be buried by her hands.
Who swimming, sighs Alcyone; her name
His last-of speech: in seas conceaues the same.
Behold; an arch of waters, black as hell,
Asunder breakes: the breaking surges quell
Their sinking Burthen. Lucifer that night
Became obscure; nor could you see his light.
And since he might not render vp his place,
With pitchie clouds immur'd his darkned face.
Meane-while Alcyone, (his fate vnknowne)
Computes the tedious nights; by day wrought on
A garment for her Lord; another makes
To weare her selfe: whose flattering hope mistakes
In his returne. Who holy fumes presents
To all the Gods; but most of all frequents
The Fane of Iuno: at her altars prayd
For him that was not. Grant successe! (she said)
A quick returne! Giue he our right to none!
Of all her prayers the last succeeds alone.
The melting Goddesse could no longer brooke
Her death-crost prayers; but from her altar shooke
Her tainted hand;101 and thus to Iris102 spake:
Haste faithfull Messenger, thy iourney take
To drowsie Sleepes dimme pallace: bid him send
A dreame that may present the wofull end
Of Ceyx to Alcyone. This said;
She, in a thousand-coloured robe arraid,
Her ample Bow from heauen to earth extends:
And in a cloud to his abode descends.
Neere the Cimmerians103 lurks a Caue, in steepe
And hollow hills; the Mansion of dull Sleepe:
Not seene by Phoebus when he mounts the skies,
At height, nor stooping: gloomie mists arise
From humid earth, which still a twi-light make.
No crested fowles104 shrill crowings here awake
The chearefull Morne: no barking Sentinell
Here guards; nor geese, who wakefull dogs excell.
Beasts tame, nor saluage; no wind-shaken boughs,
Nor strife of iarring tongues, with noyses rouse
Secured Ease. Yet from the rock a spring,
With streames of Lethe105 softly murmuring,
Purles on the pebbles, and inuites Repose.
Before the Entry pregnant Poppie106 growes,
With numerous Simples; from whose iuicie birth
Night gathers sleepe, and sheds it on the Earth.
No doores here on their creeking hinges iarr'd:
Through-out this court there was no doore, nor guard.
Amid the Heben107 caue a downie bed
High mounted stands, with sable couerings spred.
Here lay the lazie God, dissolu'd in rest.
Fantastick Dreames, who various formes exprest,
About him lay: then Autumn's eares far more;
Or leaues of trees, or sands on Neptunes shore.
The Virgin entring, parts the obuious Dreames:
And fills the sacred Concaue with the beames
Of her bright robe. The God with strife disioynes
His seeled lips; againe his head declines,
And knocks his chin against his brest. Anon
Sleepe casts off Sleepe; and softly leaning on
His elbow, asketh (for he knewe her) why
Shee thither came? when Iris made reply:
Thou Rest of things, most meeke of all the Gods;
O Sleepe, the Peace of mindes, from whose abodes
Care euer flies; restoring the decay
Of toile-tir'd limbs to labour-burdning Day:
Send thou a Dreame, resembling truth, in post
T' Herculean108 Trachis; that like Ceyx Ghost,
May to Alcyone his wrack vnfold.
Saturnia109 this commands. Her message told,
Iris with-drew; who could the power of Sleepe
Resist no longer. When she found it creepe
Vpon her yeelding senses, thence she flies:
And by her painted Bow remounts the skies.
The Sire among a thousand sonnes, excites
Shape-faining Morpheus:110 of those brother Sprites
None (bid t' assume) with subtler cunning can
Vsurp the gesture, visage, voice of man,
His habit, and knowne phrase. He onely takes
A humane forme: an Other shewes a snakes,
A birds, a beasts. This Icelos111 they call,
Whom heauen imbowre; though Phobetor112 by all
Of mortall birth. Next Phantasus;113 but he,
Of different faculty, indues a tree,
Earth, water, stone, the seuerall shapes of things
That life enioy not. These appeare to Kings
And Princes in deepe night: the rest among
The vulgar stray. Of all the airy throng
Their aged father onely Morpheus chose
To act Thaumantia's114 charge. His eyes then close
Their drowsie lids, and hanging downe his head,
Opprest with slumber, shrinks into his bed.
His noiselesse wings by night sly Morpheus straines;
And with the swiftnesse of a thought attaines
Th' Aemonian115 towres: then laid them by, and tooke
The forme of Ceyx. With a pallid looke
He naked stood, like one depriu'd of life,
Before the bed of his vnhappy wife:
His beard all wet, the haire vpon his head
With water dropt; who, leaning on her bed,
Thus spake; while teares from seeming passion flow.
Dost thou, ô wretched Wife, thy Ceyx know?
Or am I chang'd in death? looke on the Lost:
And for thy husband thou shalt see his Ghost.
Thy pious prayers no fauour could obtaine:
Lo, I am drown'd; no longer hope in vaine.
Cloud-crushing South-winds in Aegaeum,116 caught
Our rauisht ship, and wrackt her with her fraught.
My voice the floods opprest, while on thy name
I vainely called. This, neither wandring Fame,
Nor doubtfull author tells: this I relate;
I, that there perisht by vntimely fate.
Arise, weep, put on black: nor vndeplor'd
For pitty send me to the Stygian117 Ford.
To this he addes a voice, such as she knew
Exprest her Lords; with teares appearing true,
And gesture of his hand. She sigh't and wept;
Stretcht out her armes t' imbrace him as she slept,
But claspt the empty ayre. Then cry'd; O stay!
Ah, whether wilt thou! Let vs goe one way.
Wak't with her voice, and husbands ghost; with feare
Shee lookes about for that which was not there.
For now the maids, rais'd with her shreekes, had brought
A taper in. Not finding what she sought,
She strikes her cheekes, her nightly linnen tare,
Inuades her brest; nor stayes t' vnbind her haire,
But tugs it off. Her Nurse the cause demands
Of such a violence. She wrings her hands,
And in the passion of her griefe repli'd:
There's no Alcyone; none, none! she dy'd:
Together with her Ceyx. Silent be
All sounds of comfort. These, these eyes did see
My shipwrackt Lord. I knew him; and my hands
Thrust forth t' haue held him: but no mortall bands
Could force his stay. A Ghost: yet manifest:
My husbands Ghost: which ô but ill exprest
His forme and beautie, late diuinely rare!
Now pale, and naked, with yet-dropping haire.
Here stood the miserable; in this place:
Here, here (and sought his ayrie steps to trace.)
O this my sad mis-giuing soule diuin'd;
When thou forsook'st me to pursue the winde.
But since imbarqu'd for death, would I with thee
Had put to sea: a happie fate for me!
Then both together all the time assign'd
For life had liu'd; nor in our death disioyn'd.
Now here, I perisht there: on that Profound118
Poore I was wrackt; yet thou without me drown'd.
O I, then floods more cruell; should I striue
To lengthen life, and such a griefe suruiue!
Nor will I, nor forsake thee, nor defer.
Though one Vrne119 hold not both, one sepulcher
Shall ioyne our titles: though thy bones from mine
The seas disseuer, yet our names shall ioyne.
Griefe choak't the rest. Sobs euery accent part:
And sighes ascend from her astonisht heart.
Day springs: She to the shore addrest her haste,
Euen to that place from whence she saw him last.
And while she sadly vtters, Here he staid;
Here parting, kist me; from thence anchor waid;
While she such sights recalls; her steady eyes
Fixt on a Sea, far off she something spies;
But knoes not what: yet like a cor's. First she
Doth doubt: driuen neerer (though not neere) might see
A body plainely. Though vnknowne, yet much
The Omen mou'd her, since his fate was such.
Poore wretch, who 'ere thou art: and such (she said)
Thy wife (if wed) by thee a widdow made!
By floods driuen neerer; the more neere, the more
Her spirits faint: now nigh th' adioyning shore.
She sees now what she knowes; her husbands Cor's.
Woe's me! 'tis He, she cries! at once doth force
Her face, haire, habit: trembling hands extends
To soule-lesse Ceyx, and then said: Here ends
My last of hopes: thus, o then life more deare;
O Husband, thus return'st thou! Art a Peere
Had stretcht into the surges; which with-stood,
And brake the first incursion of the flood.
Thither forth-with (ô wonderfull!) she springs;
Beating the passiue gyre with new-growne wings.
Who, now a bird, the waters summit rakes:
About she flies, and full of sorrow, makes
A mournefull noyse; lamenting her diuorce:
Anon she toucht his dumb and bloodlesse Cor's;
With stretched wings imbrac't her perisht blisse;
And gaue his colder lips a heatlesse kisse.
Whether hee felt it, or the floods his looke
Vprais'd, the vulgar doubt: yet sure he tooke
Sense from her touch. The Gods commiserate:
And change them both, obnoxious to like fate.
As late, they loue: their nuptiall faiths they shew,
Now little birds; ingender, parents grow.
Seauen winter daies with peacefull calmes possest,
Alcyon sits vpon her floating nest.
Then safely saile: then Aeolus120 incaues
For his,121 the winds; and smoothes the stooping waues.
Some Old man seeing these their pinions moue
O'r broad-spread Seas, extolls their endlesse loue.
By theirs, a Neighbour, or Himselfe, reuiues
An others fate. Yon' sable fowle that diues;
(And therewith shewes the wide-mouth'd Cormorant)
Of royall parentage may also want.
Whose ancestors from Tros their branches spred:
Ilus, Assaracus, Ioues Ganymed,122
Laomedon, and Priamus the last
That raign'd in Troy: to Hector (who surpast
In fortitude) a brother. If by powre
Of Fate vnchanged in his youths first flowre,
He might perhaps as great a name haue wonne:
Though Hector were great Dymas123 daughters sonne.
For Alixothoë, a country Maid,
Bare Aesacus by stealth in Idas shade.
He, hating Cities, and the discontents
Of glittering Courts; the louely woods frequents,
And vnambitious fields; but made repaire
To Ilium rarely: yet, he debonaire,
Nor vnexpugnable to loue. Who spyde
Eperia, oft desir'd, by Cebren's124 side
(Her fathers riuer) drying in the Sun
Her flowing haire. Away the Nymph did run,
Swift as a frighted Hinde the Wolfe at hand;
Or like a fearefull fowle thrust ouer-land
Beneath a falcon. He persues the chace:
Feare wings her feete, and loue inforc't his pace.
Behold; a lurking Viper in this strife,
Ceaz'd on her heele; suppressing flight with life.
Frantick, his trembling armes the dead include:
Who cry'd, Alasse that euer I pursude!
I fear'd not this; nor was the victory
Worth such a lose. Ay me! two, one destroy.
Thy wound the Serpent, I the occasion gaue:
I, ô more wicked! yet thy death shall haue
My life for satisfaction. There-with flung
His body from a cliffe which ouer-hung
The vndermining Seas. His falling limmes
Vpheld by Tethys pitty; as he swimmes
With feathers cloth'd; nor power of dying giues.
To be compel'd to liue the Louer grieues:
Disdaining that his soule, so well appaid
To leaue her wretched seat, should thus be staid.
And mounting on new wings, againe on Seas
His body throwes: the fall his feathers ease.
With that, inrag'd, into the deepe he diues:
And still to drowne himselfe as vainely striues.
Loue makes him leane. A long neck doth sustaine
His sable head; long -ioynted legs remaine.
Nor euer the affected Seas forsakes:
And now a suted name from diuing takes.125